A group of 10 people are set to stand trial accusing of conspiring to steal vehicles as part of a “chop shop” ring.

The group were brought before Bolton Crown Court last week ahead of a trial currently set to start early next year.

But the group may yet be split into a group of six and another group of four depending on the level of their alleged involvement.

Prosecutor Henry Blackshaw said: “There is a clear division between those six and the other four named on the indictment.”

The first six are Thomas Jackson, 60, of St Gregory’s Close, Farnworth, Josh Jackson, 32 of Wildman Lane, Farnworth, Brad Jackson, 27, of Barratt Avenue, Kearsley, Teejay Jackson, 25, of Bradford Road, Farnworth, Vicky Strange, 38, of HMP Styal, and Alan Greenhalgh, 64 of Egerton Street, Farnworth.

The Bolton News: The case was heard at Bolton Crown CourtThe case was heard at Bolton Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

All deny charges of conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and conspiracy to receive stolen goods.

The remaining four are David Woolham, 20, of Spa Crescent, Little Hulton, Dean Goodwin, 34, of MacDonald Avenue, Farnworth, Thomas Woolham, 37, of Century Lodge, Farnworth, and Tyrone Worsley, 20, of Tulip Avenue, Farnworth.

They also deny charged of conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and conspiracy to receive stolen goods.

But Nick Clarke, defending Brad Jackson, pointed out that he and some of the barristers representing the other defendants may yet object to the case being severed in this way.

The Honorary Recorder for Bolton Judge Martin Walsh accepted that the defence would have the opportunity to make their objections known at a later date.

But he said that he was concerned about the apparent lack of progress that had been made with the case.

Judge Walsh said: “We’ve got a trial date of January 8 and the case is a complete and utter mess isn’t it?”

He added: “I’m absolutely stunned that we are in this position.”

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Judge Walsh ordered that all 10 defendants come back for a pre-trial review on December 7 at which point the court will decide whether or not to sever the case.

As it stands, the trial will begin on January 8.

An 11th defendant, 26-year-old Sabrina Gallagher, has already pleaded guilty to converting criminal property.

A sentencing hearing last July heard how her role had been to make rent payments for “chop shops” across Bolton.

Gallagher, of Balmoral Road, Farnworth, was ordered by Judge Tom Gilbart to complete a 12-month community order along with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.